Formation Control of Underactuated Bio-inspired Snake Robots
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionArtificial Life and Robotics 2016, 21(3) 10.1007/s10015-016-0297-2
This paper considers formation control of snake robots. In particular, based on a simplified locomotion model, and using the method of virtual holonomic constraints, we control the body shape of the robot to a desired gait pattern defined by some pre-specified constraint functions. These functions are dynamic in that they depend on the state variables of two compensators which are used to control the orientation and planar position of the robot, making this a dynamic maneuvering control strategy. Furthermore, using a formation control strategy we make the multi-agent system converge to and keep a desired geometric formation, and enforce the formation follow a desired straight line path with a given speed profile. Specifically, we use the proposed maneuvering controller to solve the formation control problem for a group of snake robots by synchronizing the commanded velocities of the robots. Simulation results are presented which illustrate the successful performance of the theoretical approach.